In new research released by Australia’s Food Safety Council as part of the 20th Australian Food Safety Week, 36 per cent of Australians are putting themselves at risk of food poisoning by eating dishes with raw egg in them.
According to Council Chair Rachelle Williams, “while eggs are a simple, cost effective and nutritious part of our diet, you need to know that eggs can be contaminated by the food poisoning bacterium Salmonella when they are laid.”
“While the egg industry supplies fresh eggs as safe as possible they can be a source of food poisoning if not handled or cooked properly,” she explains.
Not only that, but if you have hens at home that lay eggs, they can still bring on a bout of food poisoning.
So, what are the biggest raw-egg offenders? Desserts like tiramisu, dressings and sauces like fresh mayonnaise, aioli and hollandaise, as well as shakes and smoothies made with raw eggs, and steak tartare.
Eggs are present in a lot of different dishes, which is why Australia’s Food Safety Council suggests being more mindful about where eggs come from and vigilant in how you store them.
- Wash your hands with soap before and after you handle eggs so you don’t contaminate other foods
- Meals that do have raw egg in them shouldn’t be served to those who are more susceptible to food poisoning than others (think young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those who don’t have strong immune systems)
- After you get your eggs home from the supermarket, pop them in the fridge in their carton; this will keep them fresh for longer and you can also keep an eye on the expiry date
- If you drop egg shell into food you’re preparing, be sure to remove the shell, and make sure you cook the food thoroughly as the egg shell could contaminate the food with salmonella
- If you’re going to eat a meal or drink something with raw egg in it, consume it immediately or store it at 5˚C
If you want to learn more about the study and discover new ways of thinking about egg preparation, handling and storage, visit the Food Safety Council website.